The Sound... for the Soul to Entertain

The Sound... for the Soul to Entertain
Fecha de publicación: 
27 May 2024
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The legacy of Cuban son music is saved but if we talk about son music, we are not just talking about a legacy. This significant expression of Cuban culture is not anchored in the past, there are very current concretions, which are manifested in an extraordinary stylistic variety and in a melodic and rhythmic richness conducive to fruitful dialogues with very current trends in music.

Let's wrap it up: Cuban son music is not spoken of only in the past, even though there’s a glorious past, a strong tradition. But there are the roots, the trunk, the branches of a tree that continues to bear fruit.

The multiple variants, the multiple evolutions, the pairings and fusion processes of the Cuban son music are in any case proof of the strength of a base, which must be traced back to the very genesis of the nationality.

Of course there’s a permanent debate in academic circles about the generic borders of son music, if one can speak of borders in the field of music, of all culture, but certain agreements have been reached. One of them: in the very conformation of the salsa, with worldwide projection, is the son music, established far beyond the mythical tumbao.

It’s also necessary to insist that son music goes beyond the implications of a musical and dance genre. It’s built into an entire culture. Some of the most famous poems by Nicolás Guillén, to name just one example, can offer clues to his influence on the lyrical body of the nation.

Another thing that must be highlighted is its permanent popular roots. In times of overwhelming impact of the so-called urban genre, son music keeps its audience, its symbolic capital. A son music sounds, and people dance to it or hum it. That popularity, associated with an intrinsic quality, has also made it possible to recreate concert music in formats, the so-called art music.

There’s a Day for Cuban Son Music, every May 8, remembering the birth of the great Matamoros, but every day is for son. The validity of that heritage is out of question.

Which does not mean that there’s still no ground for research, interesting edges, certain possibilities for coherent updating. We can keep saying like the poet: the son music is the most sublime thing for the soul to entertain.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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